Creating a fanzine about Spelljammer, that’s a good idea, but if you’re here, that because you know a little bit about wildspace, phlogistic theory of our old friend Plato and how-many-neogi-are-useful-to-take-your-party-down. So, like a big bang said long time ago ; «How to start ? »
For me, old barked oak, Spelljammer is more a journey in a long long story of the universe than a bunch of fancy adventures. It’s a discover of ancient civilizations, where players are in search of treasures, but even more, in search of knowledge. My Planescape team is built in the same way, but it’s in my Spelljammer campaign that I breathe my ideas about knowledge seeker parties. And you surely know that in the Complete Spacefarer’s handbook, there is an organisation named The Seekers, who gather knowledge around the Know Crystal Spheres. That’s the idea. But I guess you know the old Highlander tv show, and the mysterious Watchers, so, you quickly discover that such kind of webbish organizations have always cheated ressources and perfect coordination all around the world. In a Spelljammer campaign, where distances are more than a couple of miles, and where the equivalent of a cellphone is of tinker design, the better way for Seeker organization is a loose cell composed of handful of wie guys and girls. Not the better for sharing knowledge around the KCS (Known Crystal Spheres, shorter than Not-So-Well-Known-Crystal-Spheres).
And so, when I create my Guildian Sphere, where a human civilization expand from moons with mercantile concept in mind, I have the Aetheric cartographers Guild in mind. What’s that ? That’s my Seekers way for the KCS ! It’s a young supplying guild, of those who are not full rights in the Guildian civilization, but it’s a well-fund organization, with her own spelljammer fleet and merchant point of view. Members are Guildians, but they curious and for most part, respectful of the ancient peoples. But they’re not neutral. The Guilds are an expansionist bunch, and the young Aetheric cartographers Guild is lead by second sons and daughters of older Guilds. So, politics !
Next, you discover the organization of the Aetheric cartographer Guild, some of their discovers in remote places, people and great projects ! Of course, the Wildspace Spelljammer Fanzine is monthly themed, so, I follow the editorial line with my subject !